Helping youth and young adults succeed
Resources for helping young people prepare for life following high school.
Michigan 4-H strives to prepare young people with educational opportunities and experiences to help them develop life skills and abilities to be productive, successful citizens as adults. Now that spring has arrived, many of us that work in 4-H Youth Development are working with volunteers and community organizations to offer additional summer programming through such venues as the Proud Equestrian Program, summer camps and school enrichment programs.
I recently read about a new report and resource through AbilityPath.org called “The Journey to Life After High School – A Road Map for Parents of Children with Special Needs.” According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more people than ever before are being diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). About one in six children in the United States had a developmental disability in 2006-2008, ranging from mild disabilities such as speech and language impairments to serious developmental disabilities, such as intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy and autism.
The “Road Map” has a variety of great ideas in it for all families to think about and use as young people finish their high school experience and transition to whatever is next in their future. Michigan State University Extension provides a wealth of resources to help volunteers, families and young people prepare for life’s transitions. Our online career preparation resources include materials for exploring jobs and careers, preparing for interviews, tips for completing applications, resumes, starting your own business, youth money management and much more. Community service projects also teach lifelong skills and our community service and learning resources are applicable to be used by folks within and outside of the 4-H family.
Tapping into these MSU Extension resources as we plan and deliver summer programs provides a great opportunity to share tips and tools with the families and communities that we program with over the summer and year-round. It will help everyone be successful!